Flea Control and Treatment
What do Fleas Look Like?
In Cape Town, fleas can be a big problem for pets and humans. We have written a guide on how fleas get into your house, and what you can do to get rid of them. When it comes to flea infestations, there is a straightforward way to stop them. You can learn all about it in the following guide:
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What are Fleas? The importance of Flea Control.
The flea is a parasite that is part of a group of parasites that require blood to survive. A parasite requires a host to survive, which is why pets with long hair are excellent hosts for fleas. To survive, fleas need warm blooded animals, but they can also feed on humans.
To jump from one host to another, fleas use their powerful legs rather than wings. It is possible for fleas to cause severe inflammation when infestations become out of control.
Fleas have flat bodies that are designed to burrow into their hosts. These animals have exoskeletons that are capable of withstanding tremendous pressure, making them extremely difficult to kill. The ability of fleas to weave through fur, hair and feathers makes them impossible to catch.
What Can Potentially Attract Fleas? Very important information to know how to Control Fleas!
Carbon monoxide and warmth are extremely attractive to fleas. When there are people in a house producing elevated levels of carbon monoxide, they will be the first choice for a blood meal. The number of fleas is significantly higher in summer or in warmer climates. It is likely that body heat plays a role since they are phototactic and perceive light in wavelengths. In addition to sensing wavelengths between 300 and 600 nanometers, fleas are attracted to areas that are bright.
A controlled experiment has been conducted in which fleas were placed in a dark room with only one light source. Within an hour, most fleas had moved to the light source. If fleas need to lay eggs or raise larvae, dark areas are more attractive to them. Until they reach a size that enables them to search for a host, younger fleas tend to burrow.
Fleas can breed in debris, longer grass, piles of wood, and even in dog kennels. You can significantly reduce your risk of flea infestations by keeping your outside area clean. As fleas are known to love water, a water dispenser or a bathroom is a good place to begin looking for an infestation point.
Pets often cause infestations. It is highly likely that pets will pick up an infestation while socializing. Your advisable course of action is to ensure that your pets receive the veterinary care they require.
Can Fleas Cause Health Issues in Humans or Pets?
Flea bites cause small itchy bumps on animals and humans. The bites are usually clustered together on the lower extremities of humans, such as the feet, ankles, or calves. It can be much more severe in animals, as the fleas will cluster on any area that cannot be easily rubbed or scratched. Flea saliva contains enzymes that can cause allergic reactions in people. Usually, the reaction is followed by itchiness, scratching, and eventually infection in severe cases. A lack of care can lead to dermatitis.
Human flea bites usually go away without treatment. Unfortunately, animals are not as fortunate as they are usually only treated once the infestation has progressed. Animal hosts can be infested with tapeworms by fleas that carry smaller parasites like worms. In severe cases, fleas can cause anemia by sucking nutrients from their hosts, leaving them malnourished. Typically, fleas consume fourteen times their body weight in blood.
What Do Fleas Look Like?
Fleas are usually reddish-brown in color. They have six legs, two antennae, and a compact flat body, which some people mistake for small cockroaches. Their claw-like hair helps them remain attached to their hosts. There is no doubt that they are visible to the naked eye.
The Life cycle of Fleas
There are four phases of development in the life cycle of fleas: eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. They have the capability of reproducing rapidly. Flea infestations can be profoundly serious if left unattended.
The eggs are white and oval in shape. They lay their eggs in areas such as floor skirtings, carpets on pets, and sand. A typical egg hatches within 50 hours of being laid.
As soon as the eggs hatch, larvae emerge. The larvae resemble small worms and feed on feces within their immediate environment. It takes approximately two weeks for the larvae to develop. A larva will shed its soft skin three times during this period.
In relation to flea survival patterns, the pupae are at a critical stage. During this stage, pupae can live for several months. If it detects movement or sufficient carbon dioxide during this period, it will transform into a flea and locate its host. During this phase, flea infestations can occur very quickly since they can all undergo transformation at once.
It is estimated that an adult flea can lay between 20 and 40 eggs per day. As adults feed from their hosts, they drop eggs and leave feces as nourishment for larvae. The lifespan of an adult flea is one to two months.
Solve your Flea infestation with Pest Managers Flea Control and Treatment.